A Market Map of funded startups in the Middle East spanning the first half of 2023 displaying funded startups in each country. Showcasing 6-half yearly funding evolution of venture capital in the region, and the top five rounds of H1 2023.
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During H1 2023, the Middle East venture capital ecosystem garnered $770M over 154 transactions. This is the lowest half yearly number of deals the region has seen since H1 2017. The funding landscape has been uplifted by $289M from two MEGA deals ($100M+ rounds) completed by Saudi Arabia's E-Commerce/Retail startups Floward and Nana. If we exclude the impact of these deals, funding has decreased by 55% YoY.
At the country level, UAE and Saudi Arabia remained the Middle East VC ecosystem’s king-pins. Saudi Arabia, fueled by two $100M+ funding rounds, earned its position as the top-funded geography. In terms of deals, UAE reigned supreme with 58 funded startups in the first half of 2023.
The top five funded startups accounted for 56% of the total capital raised across the Middle East. Three of these were in E-commerce/Retail and the remaining two were FinTech startups, UAE’s Tabby and Bahrain’s Tarabut Gateway.
Floward - $156M
Floward is a full-fledged E-commerce solution founded in 2017. It offers fresh-cut flowers sourced from the best growers and farmers around the world, which are then arranged by a local team of florists and designers. It currently operates in over 36 cities across nine countries in the GCC and the United Kingdom. In February 2023, Floward closed a MEGA deal worth $156M backed by backed by AlJazira Capital and STV.
Nana - $133M
Nana is an online grocery platform facilitating grocery and other home essentials deliveries in Saudi Arabia. Founded in 2016, Nana helps deliver groceries to customers in as little as one hour. In February 2023, the startup closed a round of $133M, with contributions from investors like Kingdom Holding, Sultan Holdings, Dallah Albaraka, Uni-Ventures, and AlJammaz Group.
Tabby - $58M
Tabby services consumers across the UAE and Saudi Arabia with by now pay later solutions player; i.e. the flexibility to pay for their online and offline purchases either in a deferred single payment or in multiple installments. Founded in 2019, Tabby’s proprietary decision-making engine enables customers to make purchases and check out without providing their credit/debit card details. Tabby intends to become an alternative to the prevailing cash-on-delivery model (COD). In January 2023, Tabby closed the third biggest deal for the region worth $58M and was backed by investors including Mubadala Ventures, STV, PayPal Ventures, Arbor Ventures, Sequoia Capital India.
Sary - $50M
Sary is a B2B E-Commerce platform that connects small businesses with wholesalers and brands through a convenient, easy-to-use app, enabling a seamless, insightful and bold way of doing business. The Saudi-based startup closed a deal worth $50M in January 2023 backed by VentureSouq.
Tarabut Gateway - $32M
Bahrain’s Tarabut Gateway is a regulated Open Banking platform that connects a regional network of banks and FinTechs via a universal application programming interface (API). Tarabut offers tools that enable the facilitation and distribution of personalized financial services, Tarabut Gateway allows banks and FinTechs to build the future of financial services across MENA.The startup closed a $32M deal backed by Pinnacle Capital, AlJazira Capital, Visa, and Tiger Global Management.
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Expand North Star is the world's largest event for startups and investors. Across four days Expand North Star will present some of the world’s best startups from over 100 countries, welcome 1000 VCs to raise funds and scout for their portfolio.